Systemized Management of 168 Units All Over Ontario and Cleveland with Lena Gurgis

We’re finally here! This week is an exciting one for us here at iWIN Real Estate as I’m a big fan of sharing investment strategies that I believe will help people and I’ve done a ton of research which all points to financing and investing in specific markets in the USA makes a lot of sense.  I just got off the phone with our lone JV partner I want to sell because our insurance went up $500, our property tax will probably go up the same next year and who knows how much more after that, and move the capital to the States.

She agrees and will speak to her Accountant: Cherry, my wife on how she may do the same.  Houses are so affordable in the States too that we don’t need to partner going forward since we’ll be buying houses that cash flow in the one hundred to three hundred thousand dollars range.

Good bye rent control, socialist business environment, Landlord Tenant Board and Residential Tenancy Act.

Back to the happenings of this week, on Saturday morning, Oct 21st I will be hosting our first ever US Investing Workshop in partnership with my friends Andrew Kim and SHARE (, a tech based, US real estate Asset Manager and the only Canadian lender I know in Scott Dillingham of LendCity (  who announced last month at our September iWIN Meeting that his Mortgage Brokerage can now offer mortgages on US investment properties.

The stars are aligning for, my 17 listeners for more options for investment not under a socialist government, without rent control, and I can diversify earning income in US dollars in sunny destinations.  I know, I know, Alberta is all the rage, as my Alberta bull friends tell me, Alberta is the Texas of Canada BUT, getting mortgages for me is easier in the US than here and why not invest directly into Texas.

On a personal investing front, Cherry and I are starting to sell some of our portfolio here, specifically our student rentals to take profits, pay down some debts, and raise capital for our planned investments in the US.  This is the slowest Fall market I can remember and I’ve been a Realtor since 2010… but thankfully student rentals are still in massive demand.  I’ll keep you all posted in my journey including my research findings from my visits to Atlanta, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas over the next three months.

It’s a lot of work and travel, thankfully I’ll be with fellow real estate entrepreneur friends so we’ll try to have so fun on this journey and I can’t wait because I love to learn, share my findings and help more people along their journey towards financial peace.

There are tons of inflationary pressures on the way, hard assets and cash flow are one’s main defence hence I’ll always be on the hunt for the Truth About the best real estate investing for my fellow Canadians and you my loyal 17 listeners.

Systemized Management of 168 Units All Over Ontario and Cleveland with Lena Gurgis

On to this week’s show!

We have the lovely Lena Guirguis on the show!

Her Asset Management company NV Property Management since 2005 manages 168 units including 32 of her own. Her portfolio is incredibly diversified from owning a commercial flex space in Richmond, residential properties around the GTA and apartment buildings in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lena is the founder of Stilettos and Hammers, a networking and educational real estate investment network for investors at every stage. They’re evening hosting a Hallowe’en social on October 26th at night in Etobicoke, ON. Link in the show notes or you can find details on

On today’s show, Lena shares her journey of strategic growth of her business and portfolio in partnership with her commercial contractor husband.  We discuss the state of today’s market and how she as a professional investor with established power team will invest going forward.

Lena came to Canada as an Iranian immigrant so be prepared for an inspiring example of what dedication, knowledge, talent and hard work can achieve.

I give you Lena Guirguis

Please enjoy the show!


This episode is brought to you by me! We don’t have sponsors for this show. I only share with you services owned by my wife Cherry and me.  Real estate investing is a staple in my life and allowed me to build wealth and, more importantly, achieve financial peace about the future, knowing our retirement is taken care of and my kids will be able to afford a home when they grow up.  If you, too, are interested in my systematic strategy to implement the #1 investment strategy, the same one pretty much all my guests are doing themselves, then go visit and register for our next FREE Online Training Class.  We will be back in person once legally allowed to do so, but for now, we are 100% virtual.

No need for you to reinvent the wheel; we have our system down pat. Again that’s and register for the FREE Online Training Class.

To Listen:

** Transcript Auto-Generated**

Erwin 0:00
Hello, welcome to the truth about real estate investing show. My name is Erwin Seto, this is the number 81 ranked podcast in the world in the business category per iTunes. No idea how that happened, some dumb luck. And we’ve been going since 2016. So anyways, we’re finally here, this week’s an exciting one for for us here at my business, I’m in real estate, as I am a big fan of sharing investment strategies that I believe will help people and I’ve done a lot of research, in all points to the fact that financing and investing in specific markets in the USA make a whole lot of sense. I actually just got off the phone with my with our loan, JV partner that I want to sell the property that we call them together. Because our insurance is up $500, our property tax will go up somewhere near the same amount next year. In who knows, after that, where that goes in that a move of our capital to the States makes a whole lot of sense. She agrees and will speak to her accountant, which happens to be cheering my wife on how she may do the same in following us to invest in the States. Houses are honestly just so affordable in the US that we actually do not plan to partner going forward, I actually encourage her to not partner with us because she doesn’t need us. And it’s actually quite easy if you know what you’re doing in order to buy houses that cash flow. In the end, we’re talking about the 100 to $300,000 range, so we don’t necessarily need each other in order to capitalize a 100 to $300,000 property. Yeah, it’s just that affordable. So goodbye to rent control, socialist business environment, here in Canada, the landlord tenant board, which is pretty much broken. And of course, the Residential Tenancy Act. Back to the happenings of this week and what’s going on. On Saturday morning, October 21. I will be hosting our first ever us investing workshop in partnership with my friends Andrew Kim and share his company share which is a tech based us real estate asset manager and the only Canadian lender that I know and Scott Gilliam of lens city, who announced just last month for the first time ever at our September meeting that his mortgage broker brokerage can now called lens city can now offer mortgages on US investment properties. This, yeah, that’s big news. Because again, I’ve been at this for a while. And this hasn’t been available as far as I’ve known. And also on scale. Scott’s talking about one can have like 1015 properties as long as, as long as the rents make sense. Yeah, 10 to 15 properties. Here is we’re gonna talk we will be talking about that more about that in detail at our us investing workshop. Again, the stars are aligning, especially with the way things are going here in Ontario, in Canada and obese or my PC friends are having not as bad issues as us in Ontario, but pretty bad still between affordability and tenant rights. Alright, so for you my 17 listeners, there’s gonna be more options for investment. And again, it’s not under a socialist government without rent control, and I can diversify my earning income into US dollars and sunny destinations. Yes, I know, I know some of your listeners are interested in Alberta investing. I know Alberta is all the rage Calgary is a lovely city. And as my Alberta friends tell me, Alberta is the Texas of Canada. But getting mortgages for me is easier in the US and likely for most people will be easier to get mortgages in the US than here in Canada. So why not just invest directly into the Texas of the world, no need to settle for second best on a personal messing front cherry and Irish trying to sell some of our portfolio here. We’ll have listings going up this month. And next. Specifically, these are our student rentals that are selling in Hamilton in St. Catharines. In order to take profits, pay down some debts and raise capital for our planned investments in the US. This is the slowest fall market. I can recall in my experience since being a realtor since 2010. But thankfully, our student rentals are in massive demand still, the there’s just so little supply. I think you’ve we’ve all seen the demand coming from international students. And there’s gonna be there’s gonna be rich parents out there that want that home for their kid. Because I know I do the same for my kid. I’ll keep you all posted on my journey, including my research findings from my visits I’ll be on I’ll be in Atlanta sometime soon. And I’d like to get specific dates for personal security reasons. But I’ll be Atlanta, Georgia, Ohio and Texas over the next three months. It’s a lot of work and travel. Thankfully, I’ll be with my fellow real estate entrepreneur friends. So we’re gonna have a lot of fun on this journey. And I can’t wait to love that I can’t wait to learn more because I love to learn, share my findings and help more people along their journey towards financial Pease, there are tons of inflationary pressures on the way if you don’t, if you attend any Mario when meetings, you know exactly why, because we share, I share my research they’re hard assets and cash flow are ones main defense against all this inflation that’s coming. And I’ll always be on the hunt for the truth about real estate investing for my fellow Canadians and you my loyal 17 listeners. on to this week’s show, we have the lovely Lana Gorjuss on the show, her asset management company and V Property Management since 2005. They’ve grown credit, they actually manage 168 units, including 32 of her own units. Her portfolio is incredibly diversified, including across the property management company from Ottawa to way up north like Innisfil and beyond what’s North Simcoe County to to Campbellton in Branford her portfolio is also diversified as she owns a commercial flex space, which is more recent, although remember her more recent acquisitions in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and also she has residential property, specifically apartment buildings in Cleveland, Ohio. So, again, I always love to learn for people with a lot of experience. I particularly enjoyed our conversation around investing in around in and around Cleveland, Ohio. Peters is the founder of stilettos and hammers a networking education Real Estate Investment Network for investors at every stage any and every stage. They even have the the host social events as well. So actually they have an upcoming event, a Halloween social on October 26. At night in a topical Ontario, I’ve got link in the show notes. Or you can go to our website, stilettos and So that’s all spelled out stilettos and Andy hammers So you can go there go into her events and you’ll see where you can get more details and buy a ticket for her Halloween social. My plans to be there. I haven’t settled on a Halloween costume. But I’ll figure something out. So again, back to this show. Lana shares her journey on a strategic growth of her business, slowing strategic growth. And so there’s no get rich quick stuff here. How she built her portfolio in partnership with her commercial contractor husband, we discussed the state of today’s market now she she as a professional real estate investor is with along with her established Power team. Hello, she will invest going forward, also where she recommends to more beginners as well. When I came to Canada as an Iranian immigrant at a very young age, so be prepared for what I consider an very inspiring example of what dedication, knowledge, talent and hard work can achieve. I give you the Nick Lana Gorjuss

Hi, Linda, what’s keeping you busy these days?

Speaker 2 7:51
Oh, geez. I don’t know where to start. Property Management. Slips and hammers flex space crew

Erwin 7:58
already know when to start your kids too. I do I have one daughter, just one in a hyperactive husband.

Speaker 2 8:05
Yes. Husband, who has many great ideas and likes to create things. Help me keep them alive.

Erwin 8:12
So I’d like I mentioned before we’re recording, I just finished Elon busca book. So I’m very formal of not being an engineer is like planting seeds with the kids like you know, you know, Elon, engineer, right?

Speaker 2 8:24
That’s so funny. My daughter has been identifying as an engineer since she was two. What did you do? Tell me the secret. My husband’s an engineer. And she loves the idea of building things. So from two she’s been telling Mama, I’m an engineer and daddy’s an engineer. And you’ll say okay, honey. So what does mommy do? Mommy’s the cooker. Okay, that’s, that’s what I do. I cook and then she says, and sometimes you helping you clean. I know. It’s okay. It’s all she sees. Right? I pick her up, I drop her off. She doesn’t see me actually working. But she sees her dad always working reading the drawings doing what it is. You don’t take her on site. We take her on site, but they’re usually daddy’s construction sites. I run the property management company. I run you know, all the other stuff. So she knows mommy does events. So she has really fun parties. And then she cooks and she cleans and that’s it. And every so often crazy tenants call her. That’s what she knows. That’s what she knows. But she doesn’t understand what that means.

Erwin 9:23
You’re taking her on for property management? No, no, it’s a dangerous one.

Speaker 2 9:29
Part of it is also just I don’t want her I don’t want my child exposed to unpredictable tenants. Okay, we can read into your hands on the area that you’re in. Some of my tenants are wonderful. And then some of my tenants are not. So generally speaking, I won’t take her with me when I’m on like, I’ll take her to the vacant units. I won’t take her when there’s actual tenants. I take her with me to showings. Yeah, so that she’s experienced so she knows when we’re going to show units and she knows people are coming and they want so then show me Corona assessments every so often if Oh, you know me, that person didn’t smile, and that person didn’t look at me and that person didn’t say hi. So she has her own little radar, but I’ll never take her when it’s an occupied home. And you also don’t know what they have animals

Erwin 10:14
and bugs reached. rethinking my parents. I’ll take my kids for signings. Oh, yeah. And it’s like, always on their best behavior.

Unknown Speaker 10:26
Yeah. Oh, yeah. See, we do that all electronically.

Erwin 10:29
We still want to meet. Because because I don’t do the showings. Okay, that’s my last my last chance to fail.

Speaker 2 10:37
Yeah, no, Fair enough. Fair enough. Absolutely. No, absolutely. You need to have a feel and a sense for who they are. That’s 100%.

Erwin 10:44
Yeah. Enlightened. Like, I’m there for the like, I looked at the single queue report, I would get, you know, I need the whole story and everything. Yeah, yeah. Before I go. Yes. I don’t want to make the trip out either.

Unknown Speaker 10:55
No. It’s not worth it. So

Erwin 10:59
property management, yes. Is the how many? How many of the units are for clients? And how many of your own and then how many? Oh, Jesus.

Speaker 2 11:05
There’s 168 units? 168? Yeah. Okay. I think I think we’re at 168 Ah, trouble.

Erwin 11:13
Keep counting mine. And I’m just barely double digits.

Speaker 2 11:19
And then I’m trying to I have to go and do my math backwards. So 3030 32 I think it is our RS and then the rest are for other clients.

Erwin 11:30
And uncommon is for property managers to manage multiple cities. Yes. Because like you’re in the end is probably like four hours. Maybe less than that. Yeah.

Speaker 2 11:41
So I’m central I’m in the GTA. So going out to Niagara Falls is about two hours Ottawa is for Cornwallis for Barry, depending on the traffic will be an hour and a half from where I am. Brantford is about an hour and a half.

Erwin 11:54
So you have boots on ground and all these cities.

Speaker 2 11:56
So the way that we work, so we’re very automated, which is why it works. So my husband is he’s an engineer. He’s a very technical individual. And he’s all about systems. So he designed system. So everybody uses an online portal. I’ve got a service manager in each location boots on ground, and he has a team of trades, handyman and whatnot. So I only deal with my service manager, I don’t deal with all the little traits. And then we’ve got leasing agents in each of the cities. So they deal with the showings and things like that. But I do all the tenant screenings. So all the applications come into the office. So because of that I’m only ever really dealing with two, maybe three people in each location, tenants have to submit everything through an online portal, if there isn’t a work order that’s been created work doesn’t get done unless it’s an emergency. And then the emergency calls also are designated to the area that they’re in. So when the tenants call into the line, they choose the city that they’re in, and then they can, and everything kind of goes up that way. So it helps a lot. It alleviates a lot of the manual processes. And then because of that, and because everybody knows, right, my trades all know you have to submit pictures before and after no pictures, no payment. And then the work orders because it’s all kind of logged, if you close a work order, the tenants actually will come back and say, you know, wasn’t done or the work is incomplete. And they’ll send pictures. So we always ask for tenants to submit their pictures, the trades to submit their pictures. And because of that, we end up with a lot of accountability on both sides. So we have a lot less situations where people are being dishonest.

Erwin 13:30
Yeah, cuz yeah, because I do the same thing with my tenants. I’ll pick I’ll ping them once in a while. Like, hey, the bathroom was done. How did it look? Yeah. All right. Funnily enough how often they don’t reply.

Speaker 2 13:41
It really is unless there’s a problem, right? Problem. It’s never ending we just we’re have we have a property currently being read down, renovated, the tenants were there eight years, I think. And the painters sent all of their pictures. And then my service manager went in last night to look at that. And he was like, Are you okay, with the way that they painted? I’m like, Well, you know, physically, I haven’t been there wine. He sent me 21 photos of like, just horrible work. And I sent them to my I said, Do your painters really good at taking photos? He’s like, alright, and he sent them all to him and today to clean it up. So if you’re not on top of it, and you don’t have those systems, it will be very difficult to manage very difficult.

Erwin 14:18
Because there’s gonna systems are like literally as good as the people at the team. Oh, I agree. Yeah, I actually just heard that was a Steve Jobs, quote, his greatest achievement is not any product. It was the team that built those products.

Speaker 2 14:30
I can completely understand that. It’s very hard. It’s very hard. If you don’t have good people,

Erwin 14:35
where do you find the good people?

Speaker 2 14:37
Like God? Interestingly enough, a few of our service managers used to be our tenants, many, many, many, many moons ago. So and it’s funny because there are a couple of my trades like plumbers and electricians who are also my tenants when they were in school and doing their apprenticeships and things like that and we gave them an opportunity to work and now that they’re like Master electricians or you know, certified plumbers and they’ve got their companies they still work for us. Yeah, I’ve got a few tenants i, so someone researched them and they approached you or so what would happen. So in the beginning, when it was just us and just our portfolio in our properties, right, sometimes it was easier for me to just pay my tenant to go and do the work, because I knew that they could. And then my tenants would outgrow their spaces or whatever else. And then they would ask if we needed any extra help, you know, because they want to make an extra couple dollars here and there. And as you grow together and you realize that you work well, they understand your ways. It just it became kind of an okay, so now let’s give you another level of responsibility. Okay. Are you willing to now do this because they’re already locally there? They know the market people know them? We trust them. It just worked out really well that way for us.

Erwin 15:47
It sounds like almost a strategy. So one should intentionally do rent to trades. Students. So

Speaker 2 15:53
the students Yeah, absolutely. And it helps, right? Because they have a certain like, I had a tenant in one of our triplexes. Just Sunday, would they study? Yeah. So Sunday, they sent me a photo, there’s a huge bubble of water coming through the paint in their bathroom. And they messaged me at eight o’clock in the morning, by 11 o’clock, everything had been resolved. So the guy upstairs, something was wrong with the speedway on the toilet, he shut off the water, he went to Home Depot, he got a new Speedway, he connected everything, the tenant downstairs, opened up the walls to let everything dry out, everything’s good to go. And I was like, Okay, well, you know, send me the cost of the materials for the drywall on the paint, and we’ll reimburse you. And that’s it. So it helps to have people who know because then it alleviates a lot of the phone calls. But you can’t always you know, control that. And right now, we’re very fortunate my husband runs a commercial construction company. So we have a lot of trades who apply for work there. But they’re not certified. They don’t have to write tickets or things like that, but we can use them in the management company. So we are able to that and take them and place them in certain areas because he does quite a bit of projects in the regions that we manage as well.

Erwin 16:58
But it’s because your husband is because your business, your husband’s business. I imagine they go well. They’re they do large projects, generally go pretty much almost anywhere they do and is that why your portfolio is like,

Speaker 2 17:10
No, my portfolio is spread out because my clients as they were growing their portfolios. So when we were in Ottawa, so Ottawa, Ottawa Valley, Cornwall, that’s where our entire portfolio is, which is why we started out that way. And then we started managing property for other clients that were in the area. And then, you know, 2008, Hamilton became really sexy. So I had a lot of clients who were going out to Hamilton, and they would ask, you know, do you offer service in Hamilton? And it was like, Well, sure, but I need about 10 units minimum to be able to set up a team and this and that, and they just grew that way. So we ended up with, you know, clients expanding to Hamilton to Brantford and then I had a real estate agent friend of mine who had access to pre construction in Niagara Falls. And I ended up with clients who purchased like 10 townhouses out there one afternoon. So because of this at all, kind of we expanded with our clientele. And it’s just and then once you’re in the area, you know, people get to know you and then you expand and you grow. And it’s just all organic that way. It’s just been fun.

Erwin 18:20
Loaded question. What do you think your focus is these days? Crew stiletto in,

Speaker 2 18:25
so my focus folio? I know. So our portfolio to be completely honest, our portfolio kind of runs on autopilot. I’ve got long term tenants. I love them. I love the fact that they’re long term tenants. So nothing,

Erwin 18:36
nothing crazy. Not crazy, but nothing more hands on like, no MB or midterm. And we don’t cottage rentals?

Speaker 2 18:44
No. So we do do short term, but in the US. So we do have a portfolio out in Cleveland, and we do do short term out near the Cleveland Clinic. It’s like for traveling nurses. So at the Cleveland Clinic, they have a lot of very specialized health care programs and whatnot in the US, right. And they’re one of the best,

Erwin 19:03
like the biggest name they are. And I think health care. Yeah, I hear people fly in from all over the world for health care treatment there.

Speaker 2 19:11
And so doctors and nurses, right, so depending on the complexity of what it is that they’re doing, they might be there. They do a lot of training there. So if you’ve got specialized like, or nurses, things like that, they’ll come out to the clinic to get trained. So these individuals will look for short term ish rentals, right? So three midterm, I should say, three months, six months, whatever. So we do cater to that but on that side of the border, not over here.

Erwin 19:38
That’s the only thing you’re doing in stateside now.

Speaker 2 19:40
Stateside, we flipped. We buy multifamily. And we also have single family long term rentals. We’re staying away from the single family just because the market is at a point now where it makes more sense to buy the multifamily from a cash flow perspective and then we flip the singles because there’s still quite a high yield on I’m out that way.

Erwin 20:04
So we’re gonna grow your portfolio.

Speaker 2 20:05
Probably in the US right now. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I’ve we probably would. We’ll develop out this way. So we’ve got quite a few properties that we’ve owned for going on to like 18 years that have development potential. So we’ll focus on that.

Erwin 20:22
What are the acreage is are they trying to like garden suites? Were you talking?

Speaker 2 20:24
No. So we’ve got like, let’s say triplex is on very, very large, deep lots that we can tear down and put up six, eight units. Oh, we’re

Erwin 20:32
gonna tear it down. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So

Speaker 2 20:35
one thing we’ve learned, it’s so much easier to start from scratch than to try and rebuild from the inside or extend or expand to existing when it’s older. These are older, older homes, some of them were conversions. They weren’t built for purpose. So we have a few of those opportunities. And then we’ve got partners with land and you know, commercial spaces that have developmental opportunities here in the GTA as well. So that’s our focus on this side of the border. And then that side is where we’re flipping and looking at multifamily.

Erwin 21:09
So I need to I need to back this up because we do have many novices that listen to the show. Would you take on such a project triplex tear down to put up a eight nine Plex if you’re if you weren’t in the business of commercial construction?

Speaker 2 21:21
No. Like not, if I’m starting out today, short, 20 years later, even if we didn’t have the commercial construction company, we have the contacts that we would be able to do it. But if you asked me like 15 years ago, if I was willing to tear down my triplex to build an eight Plex, knowing a little bit too much for me, unless you have the right team there who can do it for you, you know, I probably prefer I mean, in my world, if you asked me right now, I’d much rather find ways to, you know, not actively invest in real estate, I’d rather just, you know, be the bank and find other ways to just not have to do as much work as you need to in the beginning. But definitely, if you have the right team, sure, why not. But not as a first I wouldn’t.

Erwin 22:05
Do you take out say I had a host on a lot. Yeah, I don’t. Because I think I find generally investors, the vast majority don’t want to do heavy lifting. I don’t blame them. And there’s many there’s many parts of heavy lifting that require a lot of skill. Just the financing piece. Yeah, there’s a lot of financing skill. Yep. And then not many people have had to wear that hat. And then the construction side is another hole at no time even before that, yeah, getting your

Speaker 2 22:34
permits permitting the drawing years. And it depends on who you have. So we had a illegal basement unit in Hamilton in the area that is now up for licensing that my client bought and we needed to legalize the suite. Unfortunately, the agent that represented her was not yet aware of the licensing program because it was very new at the time that she purchased a duplex or triplex it’s a bungalow with a basement. I think

Erwin 22:59
I know who it is. Guess who told her what she told her was a problem.

Speaker 2 23:04
I told my glide do but it’s all good. So interestingly, when we came time to legalize that sweet Dee draft or architectural firm, whoever it was that my client brought in was like, Oh, my God, we need to redirect the stairs. And we need to put in a window here. And we need to do this and we need to

Erwin 23:23
move stairs. That’s usually that’s usually big money. It was like

Speaker 2 23:27
it was going to be almost 100,000 We had to bring in a steel beam because the ceiling height wasn’t there. And we didn’t want to do this. And we didn’t want to do that. And they’re going holy moly, like what the heck is going on? And it just turned out that she’s not aware of you know, we’ve got Bill 23 We have changes. This isn’t a five year new home. It’s an old home, like we don’t have the same restrictions. Bring in another team, from permitting attainment to closing the permits, it was like 12 weeks as fast. Yeah, because you could take advantage of the fact that it was already existing. There were minimal things that need to get done right now. So your team is very important. Very underwater. 100 Yo, your realtor is probably one of your most important because

Erwin 24:14
it’s the person I think it is. I was embarrassed because she said like, Oh, my realtor owns a property in a neighborhood either. She still didn’t know about licensing was coming.

Speaker 2 24:22
That’s terrible. It’s hard. If it’s your team is gold, like your team is gold. They can really put you in trouble or they can really really have you propelling ahead.

Erwin 24:37
Financially thank you for sharing because about the you want things to be more passive. Yes. Because I think that gets away from some people. I think so. I find some people are just like, wait. Me Maybe it’s part I don’t know what it is. I think some some people just think the harder I work, the more returns it’ll be.

Speaker 2 24:55
And it’s not a sexy to say, you know, I’m passively invested in 10 million dollars worth versus I owner and portfolio of, I think but it’s what we do. I talk about it at stilettos and hammers all the time. I’m like, ladies, the goal, the end game is to be the bank by now but your goal when you retire is to be the bank you want stable, predictable. You don’t need fluctuation, unpredictable maintenance and unpredictable tenants and

Erwin 25:20
I just lose money. Yeah, it’s not

Speaker 2 25:23
a it’s not an easy game, right? It’s not an easy game. And depending on your risk tolerance and where you are in life, the I personally think that the passive route with the right people is much more beneficial,

Erwin 25:37
right? So again, like, oh, I guess no one gets your questions in advance, who’s the person who should be developing property tearing down a house and Bill putting up into multifamily?

Speaker 2 25:49
Who, um, it depends on who it is that you’re dealing with. So I would say somebody who is able to manage and handle surprises with ease. Somebody who doesn’t get easily stressed out doesn’t suffer from you know, major types of anxiety because it’s unpredictable. Obviously, you’re tearing down. So you get rid of a few of the unpredictable kind of aspects of it. But it’s still you don’t know, right? When sometimes the inspector doesn’t show up, and you’re waiting for an inspection before you can move over to next phase. And like, all of a sudden, boom, sorry, two weeks too late. So I think that personality wise, you need to be able to kind of go with the flow. It needs to be in my opinion, somebody who has a cushion enough, where if the money isn’t cashed out, let’s say it was an 18 month estimate for project completion, if 18 months hit, and now you’re freaking out, I don’t think this is the right thing for you. Because there will be delays. Yeah, and then there will

Erwin 26:52
always be delays. And you’re always over budget.

Speaker 2 26:55
Yeah. Always, always, it doesn’t matter how good you are, there’s always some sort of surprise. And then you need to have a team, you need to either yourself have the technical know how to be able to manage the team. Right? Or you need to have the right people in there who can successfully complete and if you don’t, it’s not worth it. Like don’t, don’t do it, because learning as you go is very, very expensive in this type of situation. Very expensive.

Erwin 27:22
The term due diligence used a lot, but I think people need to expand on it when defined due diligence. So for example, I had a client who’s looking at doing a build, like, it’s like, it’s over 30 units, they’re gonna build they’re trying to build, and they refer to builder. I said, Okay, what do you know about them? How’d you find them? What kind of reference checks? Are you done? Like, oh, I started speak at stage. And they were referred to me, like, great. What else? What’s it? What else do I need to do? I said, go speak to 10 other past clients,

Speaker 2 27:49
or check, Terry on how many reconciliation files have gone in there. How many times have you know, clients had to go in and bring Terry on in just to get warranty work done? It’s important.

Erwin 28:00
But again, like, I think that just because you see someone speak on stage is not enough due diligence.

Speaker 2 28:05
No, definitely not at all. And we’re in an environment right now. We’re speaking to people and you know, putting yourself out there as an expert is so easy saris, like, you know, that you have to be extra diligent, you have to be and you know, the last I don’t know, I don’t know about you. But from my view, the last maybe five or six years, it’s been very easy to make money in real estate. We’ve been in this uptick. So anybody, and their brother could buy a property and sell it a year later and make 2030 40% depending on where they were buying. So there are a lot of people who rode that wave, and they come in to be experts and to show you how to do things. But they themselves don’t have the systems in play, because they didn’t have the same challenges to kind of get into the game and it can become dangerous, right? The blind leading the blind, because this

Erwin 28:53
market that we’re in right now, I’m already talking to a friend of mine, Aurora comparing this to like, 1990. Wow. So almost none of us invested through it. And then people need to at least start looking back at what happened back in 1990. Yeah, right. That was like, it’s not the same. It’s not the same, because there was massive oversupply. Right. Crazy speculation. Houses and condos are built been paid for by investors. No one was moving in the wind enough to meet tenant demand. Yeah, not like today where? How was tenant demand?

Speaker 2 29:25
Oh, it depends on where you are. Interestingly, to met tenant demand is huge quality of tenant is not. So you know, I’ll get just even on a basement apartment, I’ll get maybe 30 to 40 inquiries a day. And out of that, maybe one would actually be qualified to view the unit forget, like going through an applicant just

Erwin 29:47
what city what city? What was it? What’s the rent?

Speaker 2 29:50
So right now, as an example, I have a unit in Hamilton, right? Yeah. The mountain. Yeah, it’s a really nice part of the city. Little bit day It it’s an older home good quality well maintained, but it’s older, massive lawn main floor three bedrooms single bathroom at 2495. tenant pays all the utilities.

Erwin 30:11
Yeah, so speak was top market.

Speaker 2 30:13
Yeah, it’s not. It’s not the cheapest house, but I mean, what you’re getting with it, obviously, you’ve got a huge space, you’re in a really nice spot. You know, it’s still very accessible. But it’s like, what I’m getting from tenants is, oh, it’s me and my brother and his wife and our two cousins, and we’re all going to move in and split the rent. It’s like, wow, six, three bedroom into three, six adults, two children,

Erwin 30:37
you know, the basic tenets of love all those footfalls? Right.

Speaker 2 30:39
So we’re getting a lot of a lot of that. And I understand it. Affordability is challenging. So people, good tenants who have a house to themselves, like good tenants with affordable units. They’re not moving, because what am I crazy. And then you’ve got people who have to leave because the landlords have to sell or whatever it is, it’s going on, like even Metrolinx is buying all this property. And they’re trying to place tenants and yeah. Oh, and it’s funny, because they will guide the tenants to withhold certain pieces of information. And it’s terrible, because they need those tenants out of those properties in order to be able to continue down their path. So it’s it’s challenging, the demand is there. But there’s also quite a bit out there as well. Like, there’s a lot of units coming to completion, a lot of conversions that have been happening garden suites that are getting added in that city that make it very competitive. So it’s not as easy as people would think. Or it’s not as easy as it was last year.

Erwin 31:36
Because on the flip side, so how many showings do you think you’d have in a week?

Speaker 2 31:40
Oh, goodness. Okay. So I’m very particular about how we do it, because you don’t want to bother people. So we do three days a week, and then we’ll do I’ve had, I’ve had personally, I’ve gone into Hamilton on a Saturday, and I’ve had 32 showings in a one and a half hour period

Erwin 31:56
in one house in one house. Okay. So I want to I want to I want to share with you what we’re seeing on the resale side. Yeah. So a friend of mine has a property $1.5 million in Burlington, your classic starter home? Yeah. Only 70 showings in the weekend. No offers. Right. So this is normally like any other time. Anytime last, like five years. Probably were sold already. Yeah. So that’s how slow this market is for resale right now.

Speaker 2 32:26
Wow. So that was Hamilton, like the unit that I’m telling you I had rented last year. And we would do maybe four or five showings in a day, last year. And now

Erwin 32:37
with rates high tenant demands is massive.

Speaker 2 32:39
It’s crazy. And it’s quite actually quite a few people who have come in who have sold their house looking to rent. So go, I don’t have a rental history. But I just sold my house and I got all this cash.

Erwin 32:49
Like it sounds okay. I’ll take you. That’s okay.

Speaker 2 32:52
Don’t pull my credit. And I’m like, You mean, don’t pull my well don’t pull it? Yeah. I was like, but don’t pull my credit. Because you know, I have plans in the next three to five years. I’m like, Listen two months and the 10 points that you’re going to lose. You’re good to go. But I can’t not pull your credit. I can bring you a copy of my report. No, thank you. It’s a strange market. It’s a very strange market.

Erwin 33:12
So Hamilton is just one example. Because we talking about it. Yes. They’re expecting to raise property tax next year by 14%. So the math on I own duplexes to in Hamilton so that math works at about $500 a year, per property. Yeah, it’s a lot. What do you tell your clients?

Speaker 2 33:30
So some of my clients, unfortunately, aren’t in a position where they can I have, I have a lot of clients who bought at the top of the market and Hamilton. There are some of them, where the only thing I can tell them is you need to find your reserves, because you’ve got to ride this wave. they’ve purchased properties with existing tenants. So the tenants are paying low rents, and those rents are not going to they’re not gonna increase in attendance not going to leave. So what we have been doing what we have been doing as management company is on turnover, right? We’re no longer including parking. So parking is now an additional fee, even though it’s Driveway parking, the tenant pays for that privilege. Nice. Well, you have to find ways, right? You have to find creative ways to do this.

Erwin 34:17
commercial lease then. Yep. So now,

Speaker 2 34:19
I can raise my rent however I want. And it’s always a separate lease. We do the same thing with garages. And then units that actually have the space and allow it we’ve installed like storage sheds for each of the individual tenants, because you’ll see and I’m sure you’re aware of many, many places, Hamilton, you’ll see that now these homes are being converted to Uptown, right? Basement, apartment, upper, maybe second level as well. So there’s no storage anymore. So we’re putting storage on the property and we’re renting that out. So we’re finding creative ways to increase cash flow where we can we’re replacing, you know, laundry units with them. coin operated as we can, or we’re moving into, there’s quite a few units that we’ve actually done this with where you’ve got these new ventless, all in one washer dryer combo units. So instead of having common laundry in the building, we’re putting these units when we’re renovating kitchens, because the tenant pays for utilities, especially the electricity, sometimes gas and water are included, but the hydro is not, these are all electric units. So it just decreases expenses. And we’re looking at ways of increasing income to help, right so if I’m charging $50, just for the parking, that will help offset that raise property taxes, if I can add a $60 a month $75 A month storage unit, because I know my tenants are struggling with the space for tires and bicycles and things like that. It helps

Erwin 35:52
I’m gonna invest in the States. Because I’m gonna get I know I gonna get resistance to all these things with tenants, because it’s not like we do on turnover is even still, probably the first thing I ever heard of it.

Speaker 2 36:03
Sometimes, yes, some of them, some of them have interesting things to say I use it as a tenant screening tool. Okay, you’re gonna be mad at me about this. My goodness, what would you do if we lost power? If there was a leak, God help us. But it is what it is. Unfortunately, you know what I mean? And I find that we have many tenants who are okay with it. And we put it in the ads. Like it’s not a surprise. Right? Like it’s very, we’re very transparent, very black and white. All of the information is there. We give estimates for the cost for utilities, we let them know that this right does not include parking. It’s like the first section of our ad is the summary, right? This is your rent? This is how many units? Is it the entire property or not? Parking included not utilities included or not? And then the cost for each of those things. So generally speaking, the people responding have read the ad and they’ve made a decision.

Erwin 36:56
I need to figure out a way to charge for street parking to know God, could

Unknown Speaker 37:00
you imagine that’d be great. I’d be golden.

Erwin 37:07
So what’s next thing? You said? You want to be the bank?

Speaker 2 37:09
Yes, I very much. We are already doing that. But I’d like to doing or we do lending. We do private lending. It works. Sometimes we’ve been very, you know, aggressive. And we’ve done high risk that was high returns, but a lot of headaches. So I think I’m okay with like headaches,

Erwin 37:27
if you will need to understand that can be headaches, we’ve had snow share headaches.

Speaker 2 37:31
We’ve done all kinds of things, right. So sometimes you’ll hear, you know, one side of things, which is like, Oh, you’re gonna hold a second mortgage. And the second mortgage is fantastic, because you have security against the building. And this is that, oh, what else? Okay, great. But you know, we did that. And then our investor didn’t pay. Yeah. And thank God, my husband, my husband is very much into like due diligence and reading contracts. Like I’m like, whatever, let me just graze this over, my husband will peruse line by line, like, he’ll sit there and he’ll read it. Thank God for him. But first thing he did is he contacted the bank holding the first and was like, Okay, I need to take over payments. And in the process of putting together the second mortgage, he made the investor, you know, give him permission to talk to the lender in first position.

Erwin 38:20
Well, if you don’t have permission, right, I want to pay you can you talk to me, right?

Speaker 2 38:25
So, but they won’t, unless this direction was given to them to quit. So thankfully for us, he knew how to do this. And we were able to take over the first mortgage. And because of that, we were able to keep that current and we were able to go through power of sale and sell the house to recover. But they don’t tell you that. So they’ll tell you. How long did it take to sell so thankfully for us, they they like up and left and went to Africa. So we didn’t have to get investor.

Erwin 38:53
Yeah. Oh, that’s that’s Oh, that’s nice. Yeah.

Speaker 2 38:57
So they have been left behind. They left the property vacant and so funny because they took like this, they sold the appliances they sold anything they could in the property when I know it’s okay, whatever do

Erwin 39:11
the previous owners. What was this? No, no, no, if you’re with us in power sales,

Speaker 2 39:15
yeah, it’s okay. So they did this all knowing that they were like, gonna, and then they defaulted on us first, because and again, my husband, God bless him. He was like, Okay, first mortgage is paid on the first, we want payment on the 15th. So they defaulted on us on the 15th. And we knew they would have defaulted on the first for the first. So my husband called them before that could happen and took over the payments. So the power of sale process altogether from the time that we serve the notice and then legally we were allowed to go in and physically take over the property. It was like 90 days, and then it took another 90 days to sell and close and do all of that. So it worked out fine for us. But let’s say if there were tenants in that unit or let’s say

Erwin 40:00
You were to, or you weren’t on top of it, and you you didn’t know, you were 100%. And now you’re first. We don’t know that. You have to be watching your account, make sure that money comes in, because that’s your that’s your your sign. Yeah, if you’re not watching it, then what are you going to do? If you don’t take it? I know people. So this has happened to

Speaker 2 40:16
it’s happened to us, it’s happened to us with our rentals, right? Like, there have been situations when, like, my dad was ill. And I didn’t realize my tenant had stopped paying rent until like, I don’t know, three months in, when I finally looked in the when I finally logged on, and it was like, wait, what? Or before we had the systems, right? If we weren’t checking the bank accounts every week, you don’t know or if you have a lot coming in, but they don’t like it’s one of those things. But nobody told us that when you’re when you’re investing in a second position, find out how much the first mortgages? And can you carry that? Can you carry it, because it sounds

Erwin 40:52
just so it was spelled out for the listener, you have to make payments to the mortgage half to so if your lender was a cash flow investment is now you’re talking like at least double the money at the door now

Speaker 2 41:03
at least until you get it under control. So now imagine used you have to get under control. It’s not like you, it’s you paying your lawyers until it’s done. It’s you paying mortgage until it’s done. It’s you if you have to, you know, replace appliances with these things. It’s all you,

Erwin 41:18
it’s now become an incredibly active investment. Very, very active as active but like I call active being landlord, yeah, you’re like, now you’re just your data, you’re in a day to day to get this deal done. Yeah, in order to draw money out.

Speaker 2 41:31
Yeah. So you have to be ready. And you have to have something on the side for just in case now. Is that gonna be

Erwin 41:37
to become a flipper, now? You want to be on the beach? payments.

Speaker 2 41:42
So it, but they don’t tell you? Right? So it’s one of those things like you need to know. So don’t go and lend $100,000 on a $10 million property with you know, 20% Behind you. Because if they default, can you hold a $6 million mortgage? Can you pay that? Just to recover your 100,000? Right, because you’re gonna do some work. Ours was minimal. It was like a $300,000. Mortgage. I think our payments were like 800 bucks a month at the time. Right? Not a big deal. Is that for us? Not a big deal. Right. But for some, but like for somebody like my mom, 800 bucks a month will kill her. Yeah. It could wipe her out. And then there goes your savings, right? Some people do this with RSPs, and things like that. So just be

Erwin 42:26
mindful, because you basically exited purpose. Good as clean as you can. Oh, yeah. made, I was still six months,

Speaker 2 42:32
in less than six months, we recovered our investment, we actually recovered these professionals. Well, he definitely weren’t, we didn’t start doing those things until probably 10 years into our journey. Also, because we didn’t have cash to do that until about 10 years ago.

Erwin 42:46
So we’re running out of time. Thank you so much for doing this. Thank you, especially on short notice. My pleasure. What’s what’s like, What are you teaching your daughter? Because the question, let me back up. Because the question is often like, the question is often that’s asked is like, what if you could do it all over again? What would you do? Right? But but the other way of asking you that is what are you teaching your kid.

Speaker 2 43:06
So the first thing that we are very focused on is to teach our child to trust herself, trust herself, trust her decisions. And if something is telling her that this is right to trust it and explore it, because I’ve come to realize that our instincts are usually right. It might need a little bit of, you know, further investigating, but usually instinct is pretty bang on. That’s number one. The second thing that we’re teaching her is that we live in a world where exchange is how you get rewarded. So what you give, and what you put out, will determine what comes back to you. If you’re not putting anything out there, you’re not gonna get anything back. And even if you do that thing that comes back to you won’t be there long. So you need to first go out and you need to provide value and exchange these kinds of things to other people. And then in turn, they will want to give back to you. That’s the second thing. And the third thing that we’re teaching her is that, you know, people who are earning a good living, it’s because they’re solving problems. So the bigger the problem you solve, and the more people that you help by solving these problems, the more money you’re going to make if that is what’s important to you. So you want to live in a big fancy house and you want to drive she wants to drive a Maserati, my dad bought her a little one for her second birthday. So that’s it. She’s going to have a white Maserati, and it’s okay, well, you want a Maserati, you have to earn a very healthy income and to do that you need to do these things. But if you don’t bring value into the world, and if you’re not solving a problem that’s helping others, it’s not gonna happen. So that’s what we’re trying to do and we’re just trying to make her remember that she has to be a decent human and You know, empathy and compassion are very important in this world, even if other people aren’t nice to you, you still need to be nice to them. And the rest of it will sort itself out. Right? So hopefully it works. She’s only seven.

Erwin 45:12
I’ll just add that the real estate, to bring it back to real estate. Because if you’re a developer, you’re building housing and you’re creating housing. Yes, I do a lot of basement conversions like creating a small amount of housing. Yep. I’ve created and I’ve created a lot of value.

Speaker 2 45:26
It’s a big problem that you’re solving. Housing is a big problem that nobody expected

Erwin 45:31
best in the universe. The problem is so bad.

Speaker 2 45:33
Yeah, buy. Every house that we add in, there was one person who may not have an option right now who has an option, right? So we talked about that to her a lot. People need places to live. So it’s your responsibility to make sure that if you want to do what mommy and daddy do, that the places that they live are safe, that the places they live are clean, that they feel happy. And, you know, it’s not just about cashing in a check. You know, these are humans that you’re dealing with. And it’s hard

Erwin 46:04
not to thank you again for doing this. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Thank you for watching. If you want to learn how to invest in real estate from scratch, my team teaches beginners how to use the number one investment strategy that I personally use in a virtual free training class every month, go to investor To register for our next class. Then links also in the description as well. I publish at least two to three videos a week here. So subscribe if you want to keep learning from seasoned investors like myself, my guess? And if you’re just starting out, feel free to ask questions in comment below. And I’ll do my best to answer each of those comments and questions myself. Again, if you’re ready to learn the nitty gritty about real estate investing from a professional investor register for our next virtual class. That’s at Investor Thanks again for watching. See you in the next video.

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